Latest News

  • OWTU Central Executive Gets Fresh Mandate!!

    OWTU's Rebel Movement, led by President General Comrade Ancel Roget, emerged unopposed in the National Executive's offical nominations held on Thursday 15th December 2016, at Paramount Building, San Fernando. PG Roget thanked retiring Vice Presidents Gregory Marchan and Sylvester Virgil for their many years of dedicated service to the OWTU, and welcomed newly elected VPs Ricky Benny ( Petrotrin/PAP)  and Marcus Cordner (T&TEC/Tobago) to the Executive. A heartfelt thank you was also extended to former General Secretary Comrade David Abdulah, who retired in April 2016 after thirty-nine years of excellence in service to the OWTU. The duration of the new term is from January 2017 to January 2020. 

  • Labour Day 2015

    Events

  • 2015 CLR James Memorial Lecture

    Invite

  • “Going Beyond Two Party Politics in Plural Trinidad and Tobago”

    OWTU hosted a  Public Policy Forum entitled “Going Beyond Two Party Politics in Plural Trinidad and Tobago” on Wednesday April 15, 2015. The panelists were: Michael Harris, Vincent Carbrera, Sunity Maharaj and David Abdulah. Opening remarks were delivered by OWTU President General, Ancel Roget and OWTU Chief Education and Research Officer, Ozzi Warwick chaired the proceedings. The OWTU organized this forum in order to provide a space for dialogue on the state of national politics as in this election year this is a critical issue around which there must be a national conversation.   

    See Pictures.

  • DAY OF PRAYER AND FAST THIS FRIDAY 27 MARCH, 2015

    The Joint Trade Union Movement (JTUM) after holding our Demonstration yesterday in front of the Parliament has decided to host a day of Prayer and Fast on Friday 27 March, 2015from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the Brian Lara Promenade, Port of Spain. We invite members of the public to come and prayer with us any time between 6 a.m. and 6p.m. A special prayer service will take place at midday with another service to close the day at 6 p.m. We are calling on members of the public who cannot be physically on the Promenade to take a moment at 12 noon to say a prayer for our country.

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  • Breaking News Friday 13th February 2015

    JTUM calls on Government to settle ALL negotiations before they demit office.

     Mother Goose in POS   

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  • Statement by OWTU General Council on TCL

    Monday 2nd February 2015

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  • February 6, 2015 MEDIA RELEASE

    Keep TCL in Local Hands to Protect T&T and the Caribbean Region.

    Read more.

     

  • Statement by OWTU General Council on TCL

    Monday 2 February, 2015

    STATEMENT BY OWTU GENERAL COUNCIL

    The  Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union has always been warning about the poor management performance of Trinidad Cement Ltd. over the last 8 years. We continuously expressed our concern over the operations and poor management decisions that had very adverse impacts on the company. We therefore supported the new Board’s decision to remove senior managers including the CEO Rollin Bertrand, General Manager Satnarine Bachew, Operations Manager, Harrinarine Dipnarine and Group Human Resource Manager, David Ceasar because of their failure at the helm of TCL. The OWTU has also been calling for the restructuring of TCL in order to improve the operations of the Company and therefore increase its profitability. 

    However, the OWTU is very clear in terms of any attempt to takeover the Company by any one entity, in particular, CEMEX. This position is consistent with the Union’s position in 2002 when CEMEX was attempting to take over TCL and the Union led a campaign to ensure that TCL remained in local hands. We believe that any takeover of TCL by any foreign company is inimical to the interests of the TCL workers, the Company, the Country and the nation as a whole. We will do everything possible to prevent the loss of such a valuable national company to a multinational giant such as CEMEX or any other company.

    The OWTU therefore vehemently oppose repealing Article 5 of the Articles of Continuance which will remove the 20% ceiling on the number of shares owned by single individual or corporation. If this restriction is lifted by repealing Article 5 it would enable one entity to gain majority control of TCL. 

    The TCL issue involves matters that are beyond the shareholder value. If our economy is to grow and be strengthened then there will be need to encourage strong, competitive companies that are locally owned and produce for both local and foreign export. TCL is certainly such a company. It is indeed not just a major national player but it is also a major regional player. If the article is repealed and the 20% restriction is lifted then it open the door for Cemex to takeover TCL and it would represent a weakening of efforts to build local and regional firms that will create wealth for the country to benefit.   

    If CEMEX were to take over TCL then a major precedent will be set that will have negative far reaching implications for ALL companies that are listed on the local stock exchange. It will usher in an era where global companies will begin buying out local companies which will have a serious adverse impact on our economy. We can wake up one morning and find that our economy and the majority of our national resources are in foreign hands. If such a situation occurs then it would be foreigners who will dictate the future of our country. Is that what we want or our country? It is certainly not what OWTU wants for our country. The OWTU’s ideological position is that the valuable resources of the country belong to the people of Trinidad and Tobago. We have always struggled for and will continue to struggle for local ownership of our country’s resources.

     

    TCL is a good company with the vast potential to be extremely profitable. It is strategically important to Trinidad and Tobago and the wider Caribbean. It is appreciated that the construction sector is a key component for local and regional economies and therefore an important cement plant like the TCL Plant must remain in local hands to ensure that the benefits of this key economic activity are not shifted away to foreign hands.  It is a company that we as nationals can be proud of. Join us is saving our local economy. 

    OWTU General Council

  • Keep TCL in Local Hands to Protect T&T and the Caribbean Region

     February 6, 2015

    MEDIA RELEASE

      

    Keep TCL in Local Hands to Protect T&T and the Caribbean Region

     

    The upcoming vote on the removal of the current 20% cap on share ownership by any one entity at TCL is crucial. If the current cap is removed the door would be opened for a company such as CEMEX to eventually attain majority share ownership in this local manufacturing company. In its own right the sale of local resources to foreign owners would have significant negative impacts for the local economy and by extension the Caribbean region. The OWTU’s position therefore is that this cap should not be removed so that our national resources are protected. However, the underlying reason for the current push to have the cap removed is of even greater concern.

     

    As is public knowledge, TCL has been facing severe financial difficulties in the recent past under the leadership of the former Group CEO Rollin Bertrand. As a result, the company has been seeking out financing and one of its major financers is now the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group. The removal of the 20% limit on share ownership is related to the loan conditionalities being imposed by the IFC on TCL. Opening the door for a foreign buyout will see Trinidad and Tobago suffering significant negative impacts. National ownership will be eroded, given TCL’s role as a regional player, the process of regional integration would also be affected, job cuts would be almost guaranteed and local stock market activity would be ultimately reduced. These issues are of no concern to the IFC, but must be of major concern to all Trinidad and Tobago citizens. Citizens therefore have a responsibility not to allow these negative outcomes to be realised.

     

    Given the significant potential impacts of the removal of the existing 20% limit, it is important to know what the policy position of the Trinidad and Tobago Government is on this issue. What is the policy position which will be guiding state enterprises with shares in TCL? Surely the government cannot be in support of such a move. 

     

    Furthermore, the international market for cement manufacturing is dominated by a few large companies, one of which is CEMEX. If TCL was to be acquired by CEMEX, this would lead to a further concentration of wealth into the hands of a few large multi-national firms.

     

    As explained above, it is in the best interest for Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean region for these assets to remain in local hands. Protecting the local manufacturing sector, promoting a vibrant stock exchange, protecting jobs and encouraging foreign exchange flows must not be trumped by the narrow interests of CEMEX and the IFC!

     

    Ozzi Warwick

     

    Chief Education and Research Officer